By Matt Brown, Sports On Earth:
We can overanalyze any possible cracks in the foundation of Alabama, and think about when Nick Saban might lose his fastball, but here we are again. Not only is Saban as good or better than anyone at developing players, but he’s better than everyone at recruiting too. Saban’s recruiting machine is showing no signs of slowing down, even though it’s been an impossibly long two-year national championship drought in Tuscaloosa. The 247Sports composite rankings show the Crimson Tide with a commanding lead, one that they’re highly unlikely to give up by signing day. Assuming they do hold on, that means they’ll have signed the top rated class every year since 2011. The last non-Alabama team to finish first? Florida, in Urban Meyer’s final season.
By John Talty, al.com:
Only at Alabama could a former Recruiter of the Year be brought in as an “intern.” When former Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, Rivals.com’s 2010 Recruiter of the Year, surfaced at Alabama last spring, Alabama head coach Nick Saban described him as “an intern that helps us some in recruiting.” That was quite the drop in prestige given he made $350,000 as an assistant at Washington the year prior, and was regarded as an up-and-coming coach. He was initially expected to follow Steve Sarkisian to USC, but an NCAA investigation, which ultimately cleared Lupoi of any wrongdoing, put the kibosh on that. “He’s got to be the most qualified recruiting intern in the history of recruiting interns,” said Brandon Huffman, the director of recruiting at Scout.com.
by Jonathan Biles, Yellow Hammer News:
The final vacancy on Alabama’s coaching staff might be filled sometime soon. According to Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans, former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will become Alabama’s new secondary coach. Tucker coming on board will officially mean that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will no longer be coaching the safeties, a position he moved to prior to last season. Evans reported that Smart will move back to focusing on inside linebackers.
By Ben Axelrod, Athlon Sports:
For all of the talk of “The Chase” being over for Ohio State following its College Football Playoff National Championship victory, it’s worth noting that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was Alabama. “The chase is complete,” Meyer proclaimed following Ohio State’s title-clinching win over Oregon on Jan. 12. “It’s done. It’s over.” But with all due respect to the three-time national champion head coach, “The Chase” is really just getting started. And if recruiting rankings are any indication—as they typically are—the Crimson Tide aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
By Travis Reier , BamaOnline.com:
Brian Vogler departs the Capstone having made 26 career starts in 50 appearances with the Crimson Tide. During his time at UA, Vogler hauled in 17 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Utilized mostly as an in-line option, Vogler’s reception totals in each of his final two seasons in the program (eight in 2013 and six in 2014) were the fewest by a starting tight end in the Nick Saban era at Alabama. To his credit, Vogler battled through an assortment of injuries to his lower extremities in his final two years in Tuscaloosa. Elsewhere, BOL has reported that Malcolm Faciane is no longer participating in team activities. Despite having the requisite physical measurables needed to impact the position, Faciane, who saw action in 24 games in his four years in the program, never established himself as a top option in the rotation.
By Thayer Evans, si.com:
Alabama defensive analyst Tosh Lupoi is expected to be promoted to the Crimson Tide’s outside linebackers coach, according to a source. Lupoi, 33, is considered one of the nation’s top recruiters. His promotion would allow Alabama coach Nick Saban to tap further into Lupoi’s strong West Coast connections. Lupoi has already been recruiting off-campus for the Crimson Tide recently. Those new duties came earlier this month after the departures of former inside linebackers coach Kevin Steele (LSU defensive coordinator) and outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson (Auburn linebackers coach).
By Kevin Scarbinsky, al.com:
His resume already had begun to look like an itinerary. His list of coaching stops had mounted almost as fast as his ill-timed, ill-advised quips, at least before he joined Nick Saban’s protective, productive cocoon. The last thing Lane Kiffin’s coaching career needed was a one-and-done at the most stable and consistently successful program in college football. So there was good news all around Saturday afternoon when Alabama put an end to the speculation that Kiffin might leave to become the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and announced that he’ll return for a second season in Tuscaloosa.
By Bill Bender, Sporting News:
The job wasn’t Lane Kiffin enough for Lane Kiffin. Did we really think Kiffin, who hasn’t turned 40 yet but still has an all-timer of a resume that includes head coaching stops for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee and USC– was going to leave his current post as Alabama’s offensive coordinator to do the same thing for the San Francisco 49ers? Quick quiz: Name as many NFL offensive coordinators as you can in the next 15 seconds. Nope, not big enough. At least, not as big as the right-hand man to Nick Saban in college football’s favorite odd couple sideline sitcom. It’s a relationship that works, but for how long?
By Marq Burnett, Montgomery Advertiser:
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley sees some similarities between former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Bradley noted the physical skills both possess like the “ability to extend plays” and the “ability to make plays on the run.” But Bradley also noticed some personality traits the two share. Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator during Wilson’s rookie season in 2012. He served as the head coach of the South team for this year’s Senior Bowl activities. “Blake competes every day to be the best that he can be,” Bradley said. “That part, how they approach it in that way, they’re very similar.” The Gainesville, Georgia, native said he models his game after Wilson and Michael Vick.